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Day 1 - Front


20 December 2006 (Front View) 47 Pimples


Hi, I am a long time sufferer of Acne. I first got acne when I was 14 years old and I am now 27. I have been to many expensive dermatologists, Chinese herbalists and doctors and have tried many different remedies as listed.

Oral Antibiotics

Tetracycline, Minocycline and Doxycyline

Prescription washes, creams and gels

Retin-A, Differin, Benzoyl Peroxide, Clindamycin and Clindoxyl gel

Oral Contraceptives

Yasmin, Dianette and also tri-cyclen which I used along with spironolactone (which is for women with Polycystic Ovarian syndrome, which I have).

Other Miscellaneous things I have done

The three day acne apple diet off the internet which I paid about $30.

Used ProActive for 3 months.

Paid $500 to get my blood tested to see if I have any bad allergies to food, which I do to milk so I cut that out for over a year.

Paid $300 for skin peels.

Paid $400 for laser treatment.

Paid $500 at the Chinese herbalist.

I have pretty much tried everything apart from Roaccutane which I will not try as I am scared of the side effects. I am also glad I did not try it as I have now found out the reason for my acne.

One thing to think about before reading on, if you have ever seen the pictures on bill boards telling young children not to take drugs like speed and showing pictures of what it can do to your skin and they have big spots all over their skin and their teeth are all missing and yellow, then you can now see how smoking could do the same thing right?

About 8 months ago I decided I was going to quit smoking so I gave up for just three weeks and at that same time I started using spironolactone along with tri-cyclen and my skin completely cleared up. I thought my skin was clearing up from the spiro and try-cyclen and in the meantime I started smoking again I did not know this was the cause of my acne to come back after that three weeks, I had gone on a road trip and my pills were in the car and I thought maybe they have become un-usable due to the extreme heat. So I ordered more spiro and tri-cyclen and started over again and used them for three months and nothing was happening so I thought maybe it just worked for that three weeks then my body got immune to it. So I just figured another trial and error it did not work for me.

I then started thinking again one night and I thought maybe my acne is caused by smoking and then I thought back to the time I gave up for three weeks and how that is the only time I have ever had clear skin for the last 13 years. Then I thought about when I started smoking I was all of 11 years old but that was just really casual but by the time I got to 13 I had a part-time job and that is when I started actually smoking regularly. By the time I turned 14 I started to get slight acne and then it just got worse and worse by the time I was 16 I had pretty bad acne and I would not leave the house without makeup and I was had no confidence at all.

This is the time that I started to see doctors and they told me that it was just puberty and that I would grow out of it and gave me some mild face creams and contraceptive pills and I continued with these up until I was around 21 and then I started asking more questions, I was now not in puberty but how come I still have acne? So this is when the doctors started giving me antibiotics which cleared up my skin quite a bit but only for a short while but then they came back once my body was immune to them. I was then given prescription washes such as Retin-A and Clindoxyl gel and I used each different wash I received for a few months at a time and none of them worked so I would go back and just be given another type of face cream but none of them worked.

During all these treatments I would constantly be on the internet trying to figure out why I still had acne and paid for many other miscellaneous acne remedies and treatment as mentioned above, these medications were so expensive and NONE of them worked, but I was so angry, why would they not work, they are expensive you think they would work, why would people say try this and you will have a clear face and pay this money and you will be acne free. I now realize that its all just a big scam and there are many people out there that are using us acne sufferers who wake up in the morning crying, who do not want to leave the house because we are ashamed of our skin and they don’t even care as long as they are selling their product or treatments they are happy. I feel so sad that people can do this to us as I am not that type of person and would NEVER do anything like that to get money.

Anyway, so going back to when I started smoking and when my acne appeared and when my acne disappeared.

I was 13 when I started smoking on a regular basis.

By the time I was 14 I started getting acne.

By the time I was 16 I had acne.

Throughout the next 11 years until I was 27 I would continue to get acne until I decided to experiment with the relationship between acne and smoking. I searched the internet for a few days non stop for like 8 hours a day and found medical science saying that there is no connection between acne and smoking which was pretty depressing as I thought yes I have finally figured it out. I then checked acne.org and found that a few people were saying its all a personal thing, some people it does effect and some it does not so I decided to see whether it would be the cause for me. I also wanted to quit smoking as I had been smoking for 14 years and I knew it was time to quit as I was having trouble breathing and my circulation in my legs was not good they hurt every time I would try to rest. This also gave me some suspicion, I thought well if my feet are not getting good circulation then maybe the rest of my body is not and that is why my skin is bad.

So I quit smoking on the 20 December and it has only been 4 days so far and in that 4 days I have only had two new spots come up.

Here is my diary I kept as I wanted to show people that there is a connection.

    From the album:

    Acne and Smoking

    • 9 pictures
    • 24 image comments

    Photo Information for Day 1 - Front

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    wow this is very interesting. i hope that you can really prove a connection between your acne and smoking.

    as for me, the fact that i started getting acne when i started the habit of binge eating (junk food) and no one else in my family gets acne, i'm beggining to suspect that it is all the sugar i'm eating that might be causing my acne. i'm just starting to experiement.

    good luck and keep us updated!

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    K chocolate....

    I will be back here to update my photos so people can see the progress just after one week.

    As for you and the sugar, the only thing I can recommend is to not eat anything with sugar in it for a month and see if you see an improvement. I tried with milk as I was told I was lactose intollerant and that is what could have cause my acne so I stoped drinking or eating anyting with milk in it for six months and it was not true, I still continued to get acne, it was not as bad but it was still bad!! You just have to experiment with everything until you find something that is the cause. One lady I went too she made me eat nothing but veges and fruit for a whole month... my skin was a little better but still bad and I guess she told me not to smoke for the month also and then one by one we would add things back into my diet to see what was making me break out, I never made it to the end of the month and just started experimenting myself, but it was not food for me in the end, just smoking. I hope you find your cure.

    PS. I am also the only one out of five people in my family with acne also, it is horrible as they do not understand how bad it really is, sometimes we are faced with obstacles in life we have to figure out on our own to make us stronger people.

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    "sometimes we are faced with obstacles in life we have to figure out on our own to make us stronger people."

    Carla: I really like your perspective expressed in that quote from the first post. I think "Why me" a lot, but there's also a lot to learn from this experience.

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    thanks for your reply..i really hope sugar is what has been causing my acne. i don't know what else to do if it's not.

    i'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!

    btw, in Canada, is it necessary to get referral from family doctor to get an appointment with a dermatologist? i have a huge cyst forming on my nose and i'd like to get a cortisone shot.


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    K Chocolat

    I am originally from New Zealand so I am not on the Canadian Health System when I goto the doctor I pay $30 a visit then whatever the cost for my precription, I am not sure if you can just goto a dermatologist or you need a referral or not sorry. But I would say you need a referral more than likely but dont quote me on that, sorry I cannot help more. Let me know what you think of my pictures I added today after one week.

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    In Canada all you have to do is go to a walk in clinic, wait the 15 - 30mins to see the doc and they can give u a refferal for free so long as your registered with w/e provinces health care orginisation.

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    BTW a few words of encouragement... I found that smoking cigs/cigars/weed had a huge impact on my skin. I guess smoking increases pore size which in turn increases the chance of a bacterial infection. So I myself quit smoking everything, quit drinking and sure enough my skin cleared up. Sure I still get the odd zit here and there but then again I am only 21 and im still growing hair in odd places lol.


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